In which country does George Orwell's Animal Farm take place?

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George Orwell’s Animal Farm takes place in his home country of England. This is important for several reasons. First, it would make his audience feel at home with the image of a tranquil, idyllic little farm in the English countryside. This would become a stark contrast to the dictatorial rule of the end of the novel. Secondly, this sets up the neighboring farms to represent other nations England interacted with during the Second World War, specifically Germany and the United States. As Napoleon attempts to make a deal with Mr. Frederick, they have a falling out, and he later connects himself with Mr. Pilkington, who represents the Allied forces. This parallels the way Stalin and Hitler disagreed and Stalin determined to help America and Great Britain.

In setting Animal Farm in England, Orwell not only establishes the farms as an allegorical representation of nationhood, he aims to convince his readership that may be living in England, as if to say, “Communism is dangerous, and it could just as easily happen here as there.” Communism is an ideology that is not inherently Russian, and Orwell was worried to see its influence spread as the twentieth century progressed.

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In the beginning of the novel, Orwell makes it very clear that the ostensible setting of the story is England, particularly a farm near Willlingdon (where Orwell conceived of the novel).  In a larger sense, however, the setting is not as easy to discern.  As the novel is clearly a satirical attack on Stalinist Russia, one could argue that the true setting of Animal Farm is in a communist state.  There is very little evidence to suggest Animal Farm makes a strong statement about England itself.  Each of the farms with which the reader comes into contact throughout the novel are not really a part of the English landscape.  They are merely a set of farms that happen to be located in England.

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brandih eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Animal Farm takes place at an unspecified time on a British farm near Willingdon, a town that is mentioned only in passing.

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